Includes one Webley Pistol team, eight SMLE rifle Teams and one Hotchkiss MG team.
A Cavalry Squadron is lightly equipped with just its trench mortars and machine-guns that can be transported on horse-back, providing fire support. However, they would fight in close cooperation with the infantry and often be supported by the armoured cars or tanks of the Tank Corps.
Unlike the infantry who used the Lewis, the Cavalry had adopted the Hotckiss light machinegun, a more compact design.
For heavier firepower the cavalry had their own machine-gun section armed with a pair of Vickers heavy machine-guns. Along with the trench mortars, the Vickers are called up when the cavalry encounter anything that impedes their progress.
The Ordnance Quick Firing 18 pounder (84mm) gun is our standard field piece and the backbone of the Royal Artillery. It fires a heavier shell than the French 75mm or German 77mm, and is accurate, reliable, and has good range. Combined with the well-trained crews of the Royal Artillery, the 18 pounder can out-shoot any foe.
Mobile for its size, the 18 pdr was often used by forward detachments. The Royal Artillery are learning to operate in small units attached to the front line infantry to help deal with German tanks or offer direct fire to knock out enemy gun emplacements.
Includes one Webley Pistol Team (Formation HQ), five SMLE Rifle Teams, two Hales Rifle Grenade Teams, two Lewis MG Teams and one Sniper Team.
After three long years of war, the British infantry are worn, but their courage has not dimmed. They can look to their officers to provide an example. The company’s major will draw his revolver and lead the men forward, as he has always done, to glorious victory.
Jerry has thrown everything at us – machine gun bullets at the Somme, shells at Verdun, and their vile poison gas at Ypres – but ‘Tommy’ has held firm. The traditional qualities of British infantry-courage, discipline and marksmanship-have stood them in good stead along with their trusty ‘303’ Enfield rifle.
Now, with Lewis light machine-guns, bombers, rifle grenades, and hard won experience, we are pushing the enemy back along the front. Our new recruits make up in dash what they may lack in experience. When the whistle blows, they will be ready to charge through the mud to the green fields beyond.
If there is one weapon that the British infantryman trusts more than his 303, it is the Vickers machine gun. The modern Vickers is a symbol of British industry. Sturdy, with a tripod for accuracy and water-cooled for sustained fire, it is supremely reliable.
An example of this reliability took place in August 1916. When, during a twelve hour span ten Vickers machine-gun of the British 100th Company of the Machine Gun Corps fired continuously without a single failure or stoppage. Over a millions rounds were fired with the guns consuming one hundred replacement barrels and every drop of water in the immediate area.
The Vickers dominates the battlefield, warding off German attacks, and providing a tremendous base of fire for our men to advance under.
Includes one Renault FT-17 (MG) or Renault FT17 (37mm light tank.
The most innovative tank design fielded by the French was the Renault FT-17. This light tank was small and relatively mobile, and was the first tank design to house its weapon in a fully rotating turret, which would heavily influence the design of later tanks.
The FT-17 was a huge departure from previous designs as it was much smaller than the CA.1 and the Saint Chamond, and featured a two man crew. It also had the first rotating turret that enabled the Commander/Gunner to fire its 37mm gun or Hotchkiss machine-gun 360 degrees, allowing them to engage any target nearby. Using a car engine, these super light tanks were only able to move at 10 kph (6 mph), and were designed to be used in mass formations working with the infantry to eliminate enemy pockets of resistance. Other nations adopted the FT-17, and it became the standard tank used by the Americans during the war. By the end of the war, the French had built almost 3000 FT-17s and continued production of the tank with very little modification until the 1930’s.
Designed by Evan Allen Painted by Aaron Mathie
The Renault FT-17 (37mm) Tank The Renault FT-17 (MG) Tank
The first French heavy tank, the Schneider CA.1, weighed about 12.6 tons and was armed with a short 75mm cannon and two Hotchkiss machine-guns. The 60hp Schneider gasoline engine of the CA.1 gave the tank a top speed of 8.1kmph (5 mph); however, it normally moved at 2-3kmph due to the difficulty of driving it. While not the best-designed French tank of the war, the CA.1 was used until the final battles in 1918.
It was first delivered to the front in September 1916 and first went into action in an attack outside Barry au Bac, on the Aisne River, on 16 April 1917 (part of the Chemin des Dames offensive). While it had its drawbacks, like all the early tank designs, it has supported the French well.
Weighing in at 23 tones, the Saint Chamond was armed with a full size 75mm gun located in the front of the vehicle, with four Hotchkiss machine-guns located on the sides. The eight man crew had to squeeze into the hull of the tank which was only a little bigger than the six-man CA.1. While its power plant could move the vehicle at 12 kph, its extended overhanging front hull tended to drive into the ground leaving the Saint Chamond bogged down in the rough terrain of the front lines. France produced about 400 of the Saint Chamond tanks during the war and used them alongside their other designs until the armistice in 1918.
From 1917 to 1918 the Char Saint-Chamond participated in 375 different actions, and at the end of the war only 72 of the original 400 were still left in service. Despite design flaws, the French heavy tanks gave good support to the Poilu on the attack.
Entering into this war, our 75mm mle 1897 was the world’s best artillery piece; and four years of war have only improved its reputation. This gun, known for its quick fire, can bombard German positions anywhere on the front and pin down the Boche until they close in.
The 7.62cm Krupp infantry gun has outstanding accuracy and is lightweight, making it a favourite among the crews that use it. It gives German infantry a weapon capable of destroying the targets that heavy artillery misses or attacking enemy tanks. This makes it a very versatile and essential part of an assault.
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